How to know if you're getting a good tenant
Mon 21 Mar 2022
When letting a property a landlord has two big decisions to make.
Both these key choices can have huge implications on their health, wealth and quality of life.
It's really no exaggeration to say that if a landlord chooses the wrong letting agent and then further compounds that error by choosing a tenant who has not been properly vetted, one thing is usually guaranteed – trouble.
Poorly vetted tenants cause the most problems and letting agencies that don’t have stringent checks in place leave their landlords vulnerable. According to lettingaproperty.com, April is when tenant enquiries begin to rise, so if you're about to let a property for the first time, or your tenants are about to change, you will want to know how to work out if you're getting a 'good' tenant.
At Moginie James, we have always believed that one of the most important parts of our role as lettings agents is to ensure the right tenants are placed in the right properties.
So how do we ensure we get good tenants for our landlords?
Well, during our many years in the property lettings business we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) what to look out for.
The very first stage of the vetting process is the initial enquiry. Be it a phone call, email or someone popping in to our office we are already looking for signs to show us whether they will be a good or bad tenant.
Experience pays dividends here.
So what makes a good tenant?
Simply someone who pays their rent on time, respects the property, is reasonable to deal with and gets on with the neighbours.
These are all factors which can contribute to a successful long term let.
The next part of the process is one where less well equipped or experienced agencies often fail.
A good quality referencing agent is vital for ascertaining credit history as well as ensuring the tenant has the financial means to pay the rent.
Our referencing process covers employment history, affordability, a credit check plus a previous landlords reference (if applicable). Tenant referencing, when carried out properly, and used in conjunction with the first stage of the process, is usually a very good indication of the calibre of the person applying to rent your property.
As with everything in the rental sector, there is an element of risk, so although this process is very stringent, it cannot be a 100% guarantee that the tenant will be a good one. Our comprehensive Rent Guarantee and Legal Expenses Policy is highly recommended and it is the reason that we include it free of charge in our fully managed service **subject to T&C’s**.
We guarantee to pay the landlord the rent, even if the tenant does not pay the rent to us. Imagine that – no more arrears!
Once a tenant has been selected, it’s important for the property to be professionally and ethically managed. Keeping a tenant waiting for an unreasonable amount of time for a washing machine/boiler repair could lead to problems in the future. We have an in-house maintenance company who can get repairs done quickly, and landlords can also benefit from our partnership with AO.
We also apply a vetting process to our landlords. Someone not willing to repair or maintain their property properly will usually cut corners elsewhere and be a problem to deal with. We want to ensure that all parties are happy and getting the best service.
If a lettings agent overprices a property’s rental value it could lead to an extended void period. These costly episodes put pressure on the landlord and the letting agent to fill the void as quickly as possible and this can sometimes mean the vetting process is not rigidly carried out, which as we said at the start of this article can lead to a lot of trouble. This is why we ensure that we carry out accurate valuations based on the type of property, the location it is in, and the tenant demand in the area.
Landlords also need to ensure that they instruct a letting agent who is ARLA Regulated as well as being Rent Smart Wales Licenced.
If you have any property related questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we’d love to help you.